Saturday, December 01, 2012

Where everyone would love to drown

Last Saturday night, while drinking beer and eating Turkish food with good friends, the question was asked, what would you play if you were guest programmer on (long-running wee-hours-of-the-weekend music video show) Rage?

After a slow start, I hit on one of my favourite themes -- songs featuring male and female vocals together. I can't tell you why but it's always been something that really draws me to a song or a group.

A few ground rules: it doesn't have to be a duet with equivalent parts, but both voices need to have have a bit more than just a standard backing singer part. Also, they can be in a band together, it doesn't have to be a special one-off team-up. (But those are cool.)

We all tossed around ideas and came up with heaps, I only wish I had been writing them down at the time. Although if I had them all this post would be way too long, so here are a few of my favourites. If you like this kind of thing too, I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Johnny and June. Aw.

Continuing in the country vein, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

Something from Jack White's album with Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose, Portland, Oregon. Don't you love her dress, in that context? 

(Unfortunately I wasn't able to embed all of the videos.)

Something from the beautiful album Raising Sand by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant has to be in here - try Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On).

Brad Paisley's incredibly depressing Whiskey Lullaby, featuring Alison Krauss, also deserves a mention. However, the official video, which I had never seen until researching this post, kind of  spoils the mood. If I ever made a music video I'd try to steer clear of such a literal interpretation.

From his bluegrass album, Paul Kelly and the Stormwater Boys, a song featuring Kasey Chambers. I like Kasey's voice much better in duet than solo. More recently, she and her husband Shane Nicholson have made two albums together that I really like.

Or maybe you prefer the Emmylou Harris version of the same song, with Ricky Skaggs? She toured recently, including a show in Canberra, and I really wish I had gone to see her!

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - you could pick almost anything from their three albums together - this is Come on over, turn me on.

Ok, is that enough country/blues/bluegrass? Let's turn to British band The Beautiful South. So many of their songs feature Paul Heaton and/or Dave Hemingway duetting with the female vocalist in the band at the time (over several years, Briana Corrigan, Jacqui Abbott and then Alison Wheeler). Good as gold (stupid as mud) or Perfect 10 or Prettiest Eyes or many others...

Ooh, how about the Pet Shop Boys featuring Dusty Springfield - What have I done to deserve this?

Although songs from musicals are less likely to fly on Rage, this is my blog and I'd like to throw in A Model of Decorum and Tranquility, a duet that turns into a trio, from my favourite musical, Chess.

Siblings often sound good together (think of the Bee Gees). Michael and Janet have the dancing gene as well.

Nick Cave has done some great duets - here he is with PJ Harvey.

Mustn't forget Fleetwood Mac.

And a final mention for Eurythmics' We too are one, though Dave Stewart's singing part is not huge, I just wanted them in this list anyway. 


Olivia said...

How did I only just think of ABBA? Especially since I got as far as Chess...

Donna Lee said...

I would add anything with Tony Bennet and k d lang. They did a beautiful album together.

Bells said...

Oh Henry Lee. I'd forgotten about that song!

A fantasy Rage playlist would be so much fun!

Taphophile said...

Just had a sing-a-long with Johnny and June. Thank you. :-)

Carly said...

Melissa auf der Maur feat. Glenn Danzig - Father's Grave


ps did that Turkish come from that awesome place at Jamieson???? A Billy (impact) gathering?

Carly said...

Mark Lanegan and PJ Harvey - Come to Me

I know they both were already mentioned but not together.

Great post Liv,

Carly said...

2 Australian choices:

Rowland S. Howard and Jonnine Standish - (I Know) A Girl Called Jonny

from the great Pop Crimes record


Blackie and Michele Madden on the
Hard-Ons - Cats Got Your Tongue

in case you were wondering that's Michele doing the death metal vocals